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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2010 Aug 16;17(3):785-96. doi: 10.1677/ERC-10-0021. Print 2010 Sep.

Extracellular superoxide dismutase is a thyroid differentiation marker down-regulated in cancer.

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Cellular Therapy Group, Medicity Research Laboratory, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6A, Turku, Finland.


Reactive oxygen species, specifically hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), have a significant role in hormone production in thyroid tissue. Although recent studies have demonstrated that dual oxidases are responsible for the H(2)O(2) synthesis needed in thyroid hormone production, our data suggest a pivotal role for superoxide dismutase 3 (SOD3) as a major H(2)O(2)-producing enzyme. According to our results, Sod3 is highly expressed in normal thyroid, and becomes even more abundant in rat goiter models. We showed TSH-stimulated expression of Sod3 via phospholipase C-Ca(2+) and cAMP-protein kinase A, a pathway that might be disrupted in thyroid cancer. In line with this finding, we demonstrated an oncogene-dependent decrease in Sod3 mRNA expression synthesis in thyroid cancer cell models that corresponded to a similar decrease in clinical patient samples, suggesting that SOD3 could be used as a differentiation marker in thyroid cancer. Finally, the functional analysis in thyroid models indicated a moderate role for SOD3 in regulating normal thyroid cell proliferation being in line with our previous observations.

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